Tuesday 21 January 2020

What we know so far about the shooting of US congressman Steve Scalise

It happened during a charity baseball match.

By Jessica Pitocchi

The Republican congressman who was shot during a charity baseball practice is in critical condition.

Here’s what we know about the shooting.

The hospital announced his current condition

MedStar Washington tweeted that House whip Scalise, of Louisiana, is in a critical condition following surgery.

The hospital also said another victim of the shooting is in good condition but it did not identify them.

The shooter has been identified

The shooter, who was shot by Capitol police and later died, has been identified as 66-year-old home inspector James T Hodgkinson from Illinois.

The Associated Press reports that he had several minor run-ins with the law in recent years and belonged to a Facebook group called “Terminate the Republican Party”.

FBI special agent Tim Slater said it was “too early to say” whether it was an act of terrorism, or whether Scalise was targeted.

Bernie Sanders, the former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said that the shooter apparently was a volunteer for his campaign last year. He denounced the violence “in the strongest possible terms”.

Donald Trump called for unity after the attack

Trump called Scalise “a true friend and patriot” and described the shooting as a “very, very brutal assault”.

Speaking from the White House’s Diplomatic Room, the US president said: “We may have our differences but we do well in times like these (to remember) that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because above all they love our country.

“We can all agree that we are blessed to be Americans, that our children deserve to grow up in a nation of safety and peace and that we are strongest when we are unified.”

Scalise was among several wounded


The attack happened at a popular park and baseball complex in Alexandria, outside Washington, at around 7am.

They had gathered for the annual congressional baseball match between Republicans and Democrats which raises money for charity.

Representative Jeff Duncan told how he had encountered the apparent gunman in the car park who asked him which party’s lawmakers were on the field. He thanked him when he said it was the Republicans.

Texas Representative Roger Williams said Zack Barth, one of Scalise’s aides, had been shot but is expected to make a full recovery.

Speaker Paul Ryan named the two injured Capitol police officers as David Bailey and Crystal Griner. Both were expected to recover, along with a former congressional aide who was in hospital.

Former congressional aide Matt Mika was also wounded. His family said he was shot multiple times and was in critical condition and in surgery.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News